Hello. This is Liz Geiss, DFW InfoRep Captain, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, September 26th, 2003.
Despite rumors to the contrary, the Company is not currently hiring Foreign National Flight Attendants. In addition, per the Foreign National Agreement, there is a cap on the total number of Foreign Nationals the Company may employ. In accordance with provisions of the contract, the Company may only use Latin American-based foreign nationals to fly to or from Miami and only to the extent permitted by the Agreement. You may see foreign nationals deadheading to and from DFW in order to complete EPTs and RDTs. No changes were made to the Foreign National Agreement as part of the Restructuring Agreement. For additional information, please consult Appendix S on Page 595 of the contract or call the Contract Representative on Duty at APFA Headquarters, Extension #8171.
The Vice President’s Department and American Airlines reached a settlement this week on a presidential grievance involving a dispute on Article 16 – Overage Leaves of Absence. This grievance was filed as a result of the manner in which overage leaves were proffered in conjunction with the April and May 2003 furloughs. The settlement involves a monetary award only and this contractual matter is not related to the seniority integration issue pending in court. Furloughed Flight Attendants impacted in the April and May 2003 furloughs will be notified in a personal letter.
The Safety, Health, and Scheduling Departments need to hear from you on the issue of reduced layover rest. In order to better address our members concerns as they relate to this issue, we need to collect additional information. The APFA has posted a reduced layover rest survey on the APFA web site. The survey can be found on the opening page and the Safety, Health, and Scheduling pages of the web site. Please take a moment to complete the survey, and encourage other APFA members to do the same. The more information we have the more effectively we can deal with the issue of reduced layover rest.
As a reminder, if your trip cancels at sequence origination prior to the last five days of the month, you must contact Crew Schedule in order to protect your guarantee. Make-up never protects your guarantee. If you are advised by Crew Schedule to add your name to the make-up list, please document the name of the Scheduler and forward this information to the APFA Scheduling/Contract Department. Keep in mind that you must always contact Crew Schedule to determine your obligation at any time during the month.
The APFA Health Department would like to alert all Flight Attendants that Annual Benefits Enrollment for 2004 will be available beginning October 1, 2003, with an enrollment deadline of October 31, 2003. You will soon be receiving a letter from Human Resources explaining benefit changes. Enrollment is only available online at Jetnet/Benefits 24-hours a day. It is important for all Flight Attendants to know that some plans that are currently available in your location, may not be available in 2004. If you do not enroll for benefits during the October Benefit Enrollment period, you will be automatically enrolled in default coverage. This would include the Standard/$150 Deductible Plan and being denied the new options of Child and Spouse Life Insurance, Vision and Optional Short Term Disability. It is imperative that you take the necessary time to consider which plan is right for you and your family. Also make certain that your current beneficiaries reflect your preferences. Additionally, highlights of the new benefit changes and options negotiated in accordance with Attachment K of the Restructuring Participation Agreement are available for your review. After October 31, you will only be able to make changes to your elections if you experience a qualifying “Life Event.”
Personalized letters and Q&A’s relevant to 777-award options have been sent to each eligible Flight Attendant covered under the terms of the 777 Staffing Arbitration award. This letter contains the specific dollar amount, including principal and interest, for each F/A as well as the second option of vacation days as compensation. The computer, however, reflects the principal only. Flight Attendants may also access this information on the Flight Service web site @ www.aaflightservice.com.
You will make your election through the Flight Service web site, not via U.S. Mail, and your election must be made no later than October 6, 2003, at 8:00a.m. CDT. Details of how to access your personal options on the Flight Service web site are included in your 777-award letter.
This is a one-time election option. If you do not make your election, your option will default to the monetary award. If you made your election, and wish to change it, you may do so; however, the computer will only allow one entry per day. If you still have questions after reviewing the 777 Award Letter and Q & A’s, please contact APFA @ (800)395-2732, Extension 8723.
In Washington, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a continuing resolution (CR) that grants the money and authorization for the FAA and other agencies to continue to function for the next month while both houses work on passing appropriations bills. It is expected that the FAA Reauthorization bill that contains provisions for Flight Attendant certification and security training will be sent back to Conference Committee next week. This will give APFA and other Flight Attendant unions the opportunity to work on getting language requiring Flight Attendant security training back in the bill.
Please take a moment to contact your Senators and Representative in Congress and urge them to oppose the FAA Reauthorization Bill and send it back to conference to strengthen language for Flight Attendant security training, restrict privatization of the air traffic control system, and eliminate the cabotage language provisions of this bill.
The contact information for all members of Congress can be found on the opening page of the APFA web site by clicking on “Resource Center” and then the “Government Affairs” page of the APFA Web site. Members can also use Capwiz on the same page to e-mail their Senators and Representatives.
The National Balloting Committee has certified the results of the Boston Domestic Operation Council Representative Election. The results are as follows: Catherine Ann Aldrich received 152 votes, Diane Beshong received 120 votes, Bill Denmark received 181 votes, Linda L. Greely received 124 votes, Greg Gunter received 219 votes, Jean C. Moore received 160 votes, Ann Safir received 179 votes, and Kirsten Smith received 154 votes. Also, there were 607 blank votes on ballots from voters who chose to vote for fewer than six candidates. Catherine Aldrich, Bill Denmark, Greg Gunter, Jean Moore, Ann Safir and Kirstin Smith are the newly elected Operation Council Representatives for our Boston Domestic Base. These representatives will assume office immediately for the remainder of the two-year term ending March 31, 2003.
Many Furloughed Flight Attendants have forwarded questions to the APFA in regards to recall rights and employment at American Eagle. If a furloughed Flight Attendant is offered employment at AMR American Eagle and turns it down, accepts training and quits or fails, obtains employment and is terminated or resigns with notice, you would still retain your recall rights to American Airlines.
In Rumor Control: APFA has received no information from American regarding recall of furloughed Flight Attendants. Please remember that the order of recall is termination of existing Partnerships, recall of all Flight Attendants on Overage Leaves (approximately 1,500), and then recall of furloughed Flight Attendants in seniority order. We encourage you to continue to view the “Job Opportunities” on the furlough page of the APFA web site as it is updated weekly. This week we posted openings at Horizon Air, for 150 Flight Attendant positions, and American Eagle for 400 Flight Attendant positions on the opening page also labeled “Attention Furloughed F/A’s.”
On June 30th, 2003, the Flight Attendants on Flight #132 from JFK to LHR, encountered a case of “Passeger Misconduct” inflight. Due to their efforts, the passenger was found guilty on September 22, 2003, of Aircraft Passenger Threatening, Abusive, Insulting, or Disorderly Manner towards a Crew Member in the Magistrates Court of Heathrow. We would like to send out a special thanks for their dedication, time, and effort in bringing justice not only to themselves but to Flight Attendants industry wide.
In Industry News:
On Monday, American Airlines announced it would test selling meals to passengers at gates at JFK. The program will affect flights from JFK to STL and MIA. Breakfasts will consist of items such as breakfast sandwiches, muffins, and yogurt, and will be offered for $7. Lunch and dinners of gourmet-style sandwiches, salads, snacks, and beverages will cost passengers $10. The test will run through late October. Other airlines such as Delta and America West currently offer meals for sale onboard selected flights.
Wednesday, American said it would furlough fewer Mechanics at STL than previously expected. The airline said it would now furlough around 160 Mechanics rather than the 350 announced earlier. American said it needed more Mechanics in STL to help with the accelerated conversion of former TWA-LLC S80 aircraft.
Northwest Airlines announced this week that it would cut flights from its Memphis hub by 16% in January in response to continued weak demand. The flight reduction will result in as many as 110 job cuts. Overall, the airline plans a systemwide capacity reduction of 1.6%.
ALPA, the union representing the Pilots of Northwest Airlines, said this week that Northwest will furlough 155 fewer Pilots this year than previously planned. The airline has furloughed 898 Pilots and will furlough 20 at the end of September and 20 more at the end of October. ALPA said the airline does not plan any additional furloughs and in fact may begin recalling Pilots by early next year.
For more news on American and the airline industry, please visit the News and Events page on the APFA Web site.
That is it for this edition of the APFA Hotline. Please visit the web site for the latest information.
There are 6,150 American Airlines Flight Attendants currently on furlough.